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Pairing Tikves Wines With International Flavors

Considering the incredible diversity of wine, picking out the perfect blend may seem like an incredibly daunting task. With so many available options, the possibilities are simply endless! However, this is even more challenging when you consider food and wine pairing. We all know the two mesh perfectly together, but only if you know how to do it right. Given that international cuisine is even more complex than the world of wines, we’ve created this easy-to-follow guide on how to pair food and wine correctly, and we have even included some combinations that are absolute must-tries!


Now, when food and wine pairing come into question, most people believe that they need to prepare a full three-course meal so the experience can be complete. While you’re free to do this - if you have the culinary skills for it - the beauty of wine is that it can be enjoyed in whatever way you want! Even the simplest of foods can taste even more delectable if the flavors work well with each other. Just to give you an idea of how basic you can go, did you know that Chardonnay and buttery popcorn are the ultimate pair? Or, if you crave a more fruitier and fuller feel, try an unoaked variety with salted popcorn. As we said - there’s no limit to the combinations you can try!


However, before you start experimenting with food and wine pairing, you’ll need to learn all there is to know about flavours. This is rather straightforward when it comes to international cuisine since we can recognise up to twenty different tastes, some of which are picked up on the first bite. But, wines are more complex than that. Granted, understanding the full body of the wine will take years of practice, along with expert takes on the matter, but we’ve taken the time to simplify this for you. Namely, to understand which blends are ideal for you, we’ve created our wine-tasting guide. After you’ve done your fair share of picking out, you’ll need to make a selection of our finest Tikves wines and start creating magic in the kitchen! And with so many blends available, you’ll be spoiled with choice!


Since the groundwork has been established, let’s dive right into food and wine pairing. Before we go into specifics, let’s take a look at some of the basics you need to follow.


Food and Wine Pairing Basics

Again, some of you may be tempted to whip up gourmet dishes from international cuisine to fully understand how food and wine go hand-in-hand. But, there’s absolutely no need to be that complex! Here are a few basic aspects you should pay attention to:

  • Much like cuisine and wine-making, the pairing between the two has science behind it. Certain tastes mesh well with distinct types of wine, which is why high-profile restaurants create special pairing menus. Basically, wine reacts with the carbohydrates, fat, and protein of our dishes, so some combinations are truly heavenly, while others simply clash.

  • The simple route is always the easiest one, so don’t overcomplicate food and wine pairing. Instead of trying to achieve certain elements like richness and sweetness, shift all of your attention towards the taste. One thing to remember - opposites usually attract!

  • Don’t focus too much on the flavour descriptions you see on the back of wine bottle labels. Those are intended for connoisseurs who know a lot about the different varieties of wine - just focus on how you actually taste it. Since every person has unique aroma receptors that are based on personal life experiences, everyone will have a different take on the flavour

  • Finally, never go for a pairing that you don’t like, no matter how much people rave about it. Just stick to your personal choices and you’ll be good to go!


Food and Wine Pairing 101 - What Works Great Together?

While there are countless combinations of food and wine pairings ranging from simple to complex, there are some foolproof choices that will always provide an exceptional experience.


For one, red wine works perfectly with red meats. The reason for this lies in the wine’s ability to soften the protein of the meat, which in turn, enhances the flavour. This process happens due to tannin, a chemical compound found specifically in red wines.


Similarly, white wine pairs well with poultry and fish. The acids found in whites boost the flavour of the fish, making it taste much fresher, similar to the effect that lemons provide.


Here comes the tricky part - what do you do when the dish that you’re having includes heavy creams and sauces? We all know that international cuisine is rather rich, so in this case, pair the wine with the sauce, and not the actual dish. For instance, some sauces are known to be heavy on bitterness, and if you add a bitter wine on top of it - well, you can already guess the result.


Lastly, when thinking of food and wine pairing, take note of the adjectives. For example, if a certain blend is described as sweet, it will work well with foods with a similar taste. To specify, think heavy or fruity desserts paired with sweet wine. Still, this isn’t always infallible, but it works for most cases.




Pairing Methods

With the basics out of the way, it’s time to get a bit more specific. Namely, no matter how much you experiment with food and wine pairing, all of it falls under two methods - complementary and congruent pairings.


Complementary

As the name suggests, complimentary pairings are food and wine combinations that don’t share the same compounds but rather complement each other. Because the two don’t share any similar qualities, the mix of flavours between them creates a balanced taste. 


White varieties and rose are ideal for complementary pairings. For example, spicy dishes are mellowed down by sweet white wine. In addition, the same also applies to salty international cuisine. The salt of the dishes diffuses the sweetness of the wine, resulting in fruity and tasty aromas. So, the next time you’re having something fried, pick up a bottle of Tikves’ prestigious white Alexandria Cuvee Chardonnay - your tastebuds will thank you for it!


Congruent

In contrast, congruent pairings are done by choosing dishes and wines that share the same compounds and/or flavours. Simply put, if you’re having a butter-infused dish, a red with a buttery finish will be ideal for it. However, you need to ensure that the taste of the dish doesn’t overpower the wine. Instead, the two should work alongside each other to provide an enhanced taste.


Understanding Food Flavour Profiles

To give you a better understanding of food and wine pairing, we’ve broken down a variety of food profiles, making the combination-making much simpler to do. 


Salt

Salt is commonplace in international cuisines, such as pasta, and fried dishes, and the compound can enhance the taste of the wine. For that reason, it is best to choose white and sparkling wines to achieve a complementary pairing. Wines that have a high acidic content can create a balance with salty dishes, so use them as the go-to choice


Spice

Spicy foods are great for both complementary and congruent pairings. The reason for this is that the spiciness can enhance the bitterness and the acidity of the wine, and break down its sweetness and body at the same time. Knowing this, Rieslings that have an overall fruity and sweet structure will work perfectly with dishes that make your tongue hot.


Sweet

As previously mentioned, sweet wines pair well with sweet dishes. But you have to be careful with the wine being sweeter than the dessert you’re having. If the opposite happens, the overall taste of the dish will overtake its flavour. Furthermore, sweets can often enhance the bitterness of the wine, which is why most people aren’t too keen on the combination. For that reason, when having some sort of dessert, make sure that the wine you’re going for isn’t high in tannins.


Acid

Because acid is present in both food and wine, you can do both complementary and congruent pairings. As a result, the acidity can provide a fresh taste in the two. Still, you can’t go for any type of wine since the acidic content should be almost identical to the one found in your dish. In fact, if possible, it should be even higher. Salads, specifically their dressings, are known to be rather acidic, so the best option for these dishes is a tantalizing Sauvignon Blanc.


Fat

Lastly, fat isn’t found in wines, meaning that you can only do complementary pairings. With that in mind, you should look for reds that are high in tannins, as the compound can soften the fat, resulting in an enhanced flavour. Per our expertise, it’s best that you pair cabernets with high-fat dishes - the smoky flavours of the meat will be ideally complemented by the sweet berry and fruity tastes of the wine.


As we come to our conclusion, we’re here to remind you that food and wine pairing can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, so you’re free to experiment with your choices. Just remember to go with the flavours that you actually like!


Our selection of Tikves wines can be combined with a vast array of meals, so explore the collection to see which ones you like best. In the meantime, read the rest of our blogs to learn even more about the diverse world of wine.


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